Mark of the Beast? The Spirit of the Age Has Arrived

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For those who are skeptical about human beings living in the end times, check this out: Elon Musk, co-founder of the company Neuralink, says he hopes to implement his brain-interface technology in 2022 by implanting microchips into humans.

Businessinsider.com reports that Neuralink is developing a chip that would be implanted in people's brains to "simultaneously record and stimulate brain activity." It's intended to have medical applications such as treating serious spinal-cord injuries and neurological disorders, but the very idea of a microchip implanted into people's brains brings spiritual implications to the forefront.

Musk told The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit Monday in New York, "Neuralink's working well in monkeys, and we're actually just doing a lot of test and just confirming that it's very safe and reliable, and the Neuralink device can be removed safely. We hope to have this in our first humans—which will be people that have severe spinal-cord injuries like tetraplegics, quadriplegics—next year, pending FDA approval.

"Progress will accelerate when we have devices in humans (hard to have nuanced conversations with monkeys) next year."

In April, Neuralink released a video of a monkey playing a video game using a Neuralink device. After raising $205 million in July, Neuralink said it would channel the funds toward developing the chip so that it could allow quadriplegics to control digital devices with their minds.

The end-times account in the book of Revelation warns believers about being marked on the right hand and the forehead by the Antichrist.

"I have no idea whether or not an implanted microchip is the Mark of the Beast predicted in the book of Revelation. At the very least, however, it looks to me like a slippery slope," Randall Balmer, a professor at Dartmouth College, told the Des Moines (Iowa) Register.

In the summer of 2017, Three Square Market (also known as 32M), a Wisconsin-based technology company, announced that it was implanting microchips under the skin of its employees. While the process was voluntary, at least 50 of the 80 employees at the company's headquarters agreed to have a small chip—the size of a grain of rice—implanted between their index finger and thumb. The company held a "chip party" where participating employees received the $300 implant.

For employees at Three Square Market, the microchip provided workplace convenience. They no longer have to keep up with ID badges or credit cards, luc.edu reported. They simply wave their hand across a sensor that allows them to gain entry to the company's building and log into their computer. And, if they have provided their credit card number, they can also purchase snacks from the vending machine.

This raises the ethical question of the microchip and what exactly the chip can track.

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